Barley Salad with Golden Beets and Rainbow Chard Recipe

My husband is an adventurous eater, but there is one vegetable that he doesn’t like. When beets are mentioned, he shudders a little and recalls childhood stories about a grandfather who loved beets (and loved to share them). And so, when he wondered casually if I could cook beets in a way that he would enjoy, I accepted the challenge with enthusiasm. There are few things that I like better than healing past vegetable trauma. So, an alternate title for this post is “The Beet Challenge Recipe.” If you are wondering, Jeff did enjoy the beets. The key here is the use of golden beets, which have a milder flavor than red beets. If you too don’t like beets, give this recipe a try. I definitely recommend the golden beets if you can find them, and the barley can easily be swapped with couscous or quinoa, if you prefer.

–Leah and Jeff

Beautiful golden beets, grown locally at Summerfield Farm


  • 3 medium golden beets, scrubbed clean
  • Small bunch of rainbow chard, cleaned and chopped
  • 1/2 cup of barley, (Trader Joe’s has a great 10 minute barley)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil
  • Chèvre, to top


  1. Preheat oven to 375’F. Wrap the beets in foil and place on a baking sheet. Cook until tender, about 1 hour.
  2. In the meantime, cook the barley per package directions. I season to taste with a little salt and olive oil.
  3. Heat a pan over medium heat, add garlic and chard. Cook until tender, about 4 minutes.
  4. Remove beets from oven when fork tender. Allow to cool and then peel; the skin comes off easily after they have been roasted. Chop and add beets and chard to barley. Season with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil, as desired. Top with crumbles of chèvre and serve warm.
  5. Enjoy!
Rainbow chard
Topped with chèvre and served with carrot ginger glazed salmon

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